Take a Hike

January 29th

I’m a bit late to the Bill Bryson fan club, but consider me an official member. A Walk in the Woods is my third Bryson book and by far my favorite. I’m nearly done, after having just started it two days ago. It is one of those books I only want to put down so I can sleep to get energy to read some more. It is that funny.

My favorite excerpt so far:

“I was especially riveted by an amateur photograph in Herrero’s book, taken late at night by a camper with a flash at a campground out West. The photograph caught four black bears as they puzzled over a suspended food bag. The bears were clearly startled but not remotely alarmed by the flash. It was not the size or demeanor of the bears that troubled me — they looked almost comically unaggressive, like four guys who had gotten a Frisbee caught up a tree — but their numbers. Up to that moment it had not occurred to me that bears might prowl in parties. What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die, of course. Literally shit myself lifeless. I would blow my sphincter out my backside like one of those unrolling paper streamers you get at children’s parties — I daresay it would even give a merry toot — and bleed to a messy death in my sleeping bag.”

I am going to be sad when I finish this gem.

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22 Responses

  1. I loved that book… the others, not as much, but that is one of my favorites!!

  2. This was the first Bryson book I read. It’s still my favorite.

  3. I discovered Bill Bryson almost 10 years ago when I was living in London and a friend gave me Notes From a Small Island. Of course, In a Sunburned Country is my favourite, but I might be a little biased.

  4. I gave this book to my dad last year(?) right before they went to the Smokeys to backpack. He loved it.

  5. Jennifer January 29, 2007

    This is his best work, as far as I’m concerned. I read it voraciously. I laughed so hard I got looks from all over the bus/train during my commute. People in Sacramento (where I live) look at you funny if you enjoy a good book or movie in public. I live out loud, so you can imagine…have you got to the part about the hostess cupcakes yet?

  6. Haaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha. I only have read In a Sunburned Country, and loved it. Add this one to the Must Read list…

  7. Bryson makes me laugh so hard! My mom, husband, and I all love his books.

  8. He is so good- this one and In a Sunburned Country are two favorites.

  9. I love Bill Bryson…I have three or four books if you want to swap out sometime.

  10. That quote was fantastic!

    I’ve never thought of the possibility of multiple bears in my campsite either. DAMN.

    I think I’ll add this to my reading list! Thanks, Kelli!!

  11. I love that you chose my EXACT FAVORITE quote from that book as your favorite. I was reading it on a flight and blew G&T out of my nose at that line.

    Honking with laughter is an understatement.

    Glad you’re liking it!

  12. Oh!!!…this is my favorite by him!!

  13. My dad got me hooked on Bill Bryson… unwittingly, but he got me hooked just the same. I have fond memories of reading BB books on public transportation in NYC and occasionally getting strange looks from other passengers when I would giggle or snort at something in the book. Gotta love it!

  14. Ah, the good ol’ genius of Bryson. I have read A Walk In The Woods yet but damn, that was funny.

  15. must get this book.

  16. I haven’t read A Walk In the Woods yet but I have Down Under and lots of his other books. When I read Bill Bryson I have to be on my own – the guffaws you know πŸ™‚

  17. omg, the part with his walking companion and the cream soda still gets me giggling.

  18. Oh, thanks for the recommendation! It was on my list – I just love his stuff. I listened to In a Sunburned Country last year, and also enjoyed Notes from a Small Island, and Neither Here Nor There. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

  19. I love Bill Bryson – laugh out loud funny. He lived in the town we lived in before we moved last spring – used to see him on occasion in the pub. Try his book of essays, which were originally published in British newspapers; they are my favorite!

  20. I never read something from him, but i’m happy i finished El Padrino last night….. yay!!! I feel a little bit like in holydays…

    Me voy a Suecia el 15 de febrero… πŸ˜€

  21. so glad you’re loving this one! i listened to the one on australia; audio book. it was great, too. i’d like to read his latest, a memoir, i think.

  22. I bought the paperback version of this book today and adding it to my reading pile. I’m really looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the recommnendation and your thoughts about it!